Wholesale fuel prices could rise by 2-3ppl tonight (June 24) following the Brexit vote in yesterday’s referendum, PRA chairman Brian Madderson has warned.

By mid morning sterling had recovered from a low of $1.30 to about $1.35, and he said that at this level the wholesale increase would be 2-3ppl, with the increase feeding through to pump prices from the middle of next week.

In the longer term, he said there would be an opportunity to take a fresh look at legislation that had fed through from Europe. He suggested the priority would be the timetable for the introduction of E10 petrol.

He said: “I hope we will be able to take a fresh look at E10 and introduce it less quickly. It will not be good for business or for motorists.”

Another area the PRA would be exploring with government would be the introduction of a third phase of the rural rebate scheme. Madderson said: “It took 18 months to get agreement from all the EU finance ministers for the last phase, and it affected just four garages in England.

“I hope we can get together with the ministries here and get a third phase organised much more quickly.”

He was less optimistic about tobacco legislation, however, pointing out that the UK government had been in the lead in much of the changes.

The RAC also issued a warning on prices in the wake of the vote. Fuel Watch spokesman Pete Williams said: “It is too early to tell what the implications are in the mid to long term but it is likely motorists will see some volatility in the price of fuel on UK forecourts in the coming weeks.

“While the cost of crude has dropped as markets react to fears of a global economic slowdown the fall in the value of the pound to levels not seen since 1985 means that retailers are today facing an increase in the wholesale price of around 1.5 pence which will very be likely passed on to motorists at the pump.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman also saw an opportunity to improve regulations affecting the sector. He said: “There are many European regulations that affect convenience store retailers, from rules on waste and energy efficiency to the incoming tobacco products directive.

“We will be making local shops’ case for the right regulatory framework once we leave the EU, maintaining the laws that work and are fair, and reviewing those where changes to regulations could promote investment and growth for our members.

“We will work closely with the government and in Brussels to make sure the process of leaving the EU is workable and causes minimal disruption to the convenience sector in the coming years.”